Family Fun Day

Come and join the Ardeer and Sunshine West Community and show your support for putting the powerlines underground. Sunday 7th November 1pm, Ardeer Community Park, Forrest St. Click here for more information.


Rooming House Campaign

Council has moved to support this very important Victorian Local Governance Assoc Rooming House campaign.

It was apparent that there is much we can do to improve the way we respond to unsafe rooming houses and to make the unscrupulous owners more accountable as both an individual council and as a sector

At a council level officers at Brimbank have been quick to recognise that we need an integrated response that involves all the relevant areas of council including:
Building services
City compliance
Environmental health
housing support services
community health services
Fire services
And the homeless persons programme

As a sector there is a need to lobby for:
Increased registration and policing of rooming houses
Encourage the reporting of unregistered rooming houses
Licensing of the RH operators
Increased penalties for unlicensed premises
And to encourage 3rd party complaints against these operators

It became clear to me though that this is also an important campaign not only because it highlights the plight of the most marginalised in our community who are stuck in unsafe rooming houses, but because the issue cannot be divorced from the issue of access to affordable housing more generally

The discussion at the VLGA highlighted that unsafe rooming houses are a failure of the private housing market to deliver affordable housing. This is not a new issue or a cyclical problem. This is a problem of capitalism. It is a problem of the private housing market. When times are good for the housing industry and they are building houses hand over fist, the supply increases and the problem is not so acute, but when the market dries up the few who drop off the edge become a large number indeed. And it has nothing to do with the actual number of houses built, but everything to do with the fact that people on low incomes cannot access the houses

So rather than an aberration, it is actually a function of the private market

We have been told by the state gvt that there is a massive housing shortage and this is used to justify the massive roll out of housing construction

Is there really a shortage or is this a move to prop up a struggling industry and their profits

Forgive me for being cynical but I have just discovered that ABS data shows there is in fact more than enough vacant dwellings in victoria to house the entire Victorian population

I repeat, there is enough dwellings to house the entire Victorian population

At the heart of the problem lies the fact that housing is not built to match actual need Instead we have system that is just trying to produce as many houses as it can for profit. The irony is that Many of these properties are actually being paid for by the tax payer thru negative but we never own them

Even if we plough ahead and build all these new houses and destroy huge tracts of grasslands. Guess what we will still have a rooming house problem, and we will still have poor people who cant afford housing, we will still have homeless people

If we are serious about addressing this issue we need to look at providing housing differently. We need to increase the public ownership of housing and we need to be able to match up vacant houses with families. We can only do that if we own it

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